Help stem the sea level rise that is inevitably going to flood old gas stations out of existence

Readers are well used to the short-sightedness of Black Press’ opinion pieces but ‘Going Electric’ on Dec. 4, 2019 really set new standards for its myopic vision.

SEE: OUR VIEW: Workers ignored in electric vehicle discussions

If we are going to talk about taxation and government expenditures as they relate to the public’s use of automobiles how about we discuss a clearer picture?

The reality is that gas and diesel burning vehicles have racked up a social deficit that would take centuries to repay. Increasingly, the detrimental effects of poor air quality are coming home to roost around the world and principle among the causes are internal combustion engines.

In the Government of Canada’s own words: “air pollution costs Canadians and the Canadian economy billions of dollars per year. The full social costs of air pollution, however, are even higher…. include not only health care costs and lost productivity, but also the loss in social welfare due to pain, suffering, and death.”

It may be that we are a region of big trucks and attitude but increasingly, electric vehicle technology is catching up and even surpassing traditional vehicles. There is nothing macho about dying of emphysema or developing chronic asthma.

While that’s sinking in, let’s add the massive quantities of oil and other solvents that leak out of gas and diesel engines onto the road surface, weakening the asphalt and increasing wear and tear and maintenance costs. These pollutants then run off with the rainwater into our water courses and eventually into the ocean, as well as evaporating, adding further to air pollution.

Electric vehicles do much less of this.

Now I know that EVs are not completely innocent and certainly this is one of the rubs of renewable energy and the like, they have a cost and use resources too. But being as we are talking about our community, our taxation, it’s fair to stick to the B.C. example where almost all of our electricity comes from relatively benign hydro-generation sources. Because of that, if any province or state in North America should embrace electric vehicles, it should be B.C. Especially as we do have relatively clean air and water which we should be much more ardent in protecting.

I’d venture that Your View on pumping up fossil fuel use has more to do with David Black’s oil refinery fantasy than any forensic analysis and sense of public concern over taxation.

Lastly, if Black Press is really worried about small town gas stations like those in Campbellton and along the foreshore past Willow Point, I’d suggest that reducing your carbon footprint to help stem the sea level rise that is inevitably otherwise going to flood them out of existence would be a much more practical step than trying to pull the wool over your readers’ eyes.

Philip Stone

Quadra Island